The shortage of skilled workers in the IT industry is particularly acute. For the public sector, this is developing into a war for talent against the often more attractive salaries in the private sector. However, they have undeniable advantages. The proof at the University of Liège.
The SEGI-ULiège – ie the general IT service of the University of Liège – has three areas of activity: the management of the computer science of this university, which welcomes 30,000 users – students, teachers, researchers; the same mission for the University Hospital of Liège; the development of ULIS, its payroll and career management software for civil servants, including for institutions such as the Walloon Region and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.
As managing director Didier Korthoudt explains, the service currently has 130 employees “everything from a single source”. He wants to fill half a dozen positions, some of which have been vacant for several months: “We have the greatest difficulties recruiting, especially in the area of software development. We are looking for Java developers, more precisely J2EE developers, as these technologies are used for our own software. This profile is extremely popular and rare on the market. Of course, there are training opportunities, but you must already have a solid foundation of knowledge to be up and running as soon as possible. »
Didier Korthoudt, Director General of the General IT Department at the University of Liège
Telecommuting, a trap?
In addition to the scarcity of IT profiles, Didier Korthoudt admits that the massive generalization of teleworking has so far not made his job easier in his search for workers: “Before the Covid, many IT professionals from Liège turned to us for long trips to Brussels looking for jobs or to avoid Luxembourg. With teleworking, we can now limit such trips to one day a week in the company, which no longer bothers many. That’s none of SEGI’s business, of course!
More generally, the IT sector also suffers from younger generations’ aversion to math and science. As our interviewee observed: “Young people are born with the internet and smartphones, but they see them as tools. This does not necessarily lead to attraction or curiosity about how the technology works. »
balance and meaning
Even if the SEGI, as a public-law institution, has to face these pitfalls and cannot compete with the private sector in terms of remuneration, it still stands out when it comes to work organization. It offers framework conditions that contribute to a better compatibility of private and professional life. “We offer more favorable holiday regulations than in the private sector and are even more flexible than in other public institutions. For example, our agents can take two days of teleworking per week, but most importantly take hours off instead of automatically having to take a day or a full half day,” explains Didier Korthoudt.
Another way to differentiate yourself: the added meaning that one can find in public service work. “A few generations ago, the meaning of work often boiled down to the amount of the check at the end of the month or the make of the company car. The younger generations entering the workforce are trying harder to make sense of their talent. »
SEGI-ULiège will be present at Talentum Liège on November 17th. Free registration